Complicated relationship between LeBron James and Cleveland fans

[caption id="attachment_2521" align="aligncenter" width="550"]nike-lebron-vi-chalk-2 As a fan you felt like he not only represented your team, but he represented you.[/caption] Now that LeBron James has returned to the Cleveland Cavaliers. People have asked me how I feel about his return. My answer has always been the same when asked, "Conflicted." I can't speak for all Cleveland fans, but I think I'm correct in saying, that LeBron coming back hasn't really sunk. Partly because the city is still drunk as a rat from all the celebration, and partially because it's so unbelievable. It's hard for Cleveland to grasp the idea that one of the greatest athletes ever chose them, while in their prime. No one chooses Cleveland. Hell originally LeBron didn't choose Cleveland. I don't believe it will become real until the first home game when LeBron throws the chalk up...and he better throw that chalk up. I don't want to hear, "Oh this is the new LeBron. I have a new number and I'm leaving that behind." No dammit I want chalk. With that being said, I'm still conflicted about LeBron James coming back. The way he left was so callous and narcissistic. Now I'm not talking about The Decision show. That's been over analyzed for the last 4 years. Just to be analyzed again for the last week. Everyone, including LeBron agrees that it was a bad idea. So I've gotten over that. I'm conflicted, as a fan, about the relationship I'm supposed to have with LeBron now. He wasn't just a player for my favorite team. He was from northeast Ohio. If you were from Cleveland, you felt a special connection to him unlike any other athlete. You felt he bore the sports pain that you bore, and was going to do everything in his power to make Cleveland a winner. As a fan you felt like he not only represented your team, but he represented you. You never thought things would play out the way they did. No one in Cleveland thought he would quit on them in the playoff, publicly embarrass them, distance himself from Cleveland, leave to win somewhere elseā€¦and then choose to come back. How do you reconcile that? I guess you can be happy he came back because it makes the team significantly better. Maybe you can rationalize cheering for him by saying, "I cheer for my team not an individual player." You could make excuses for him and say, "He had to leave to learn how to win. Now he can help us win." Perhaps with time things will get back to the way they were? Maybe the relationship between Cleveland and LeBron James will always be complicated? Right now it's hard to tell. I'm sure I will have a better answer when that chalk goes up.   Kortney Shane Williams Editor-in-Chief of Comedic Prose Follow Kortney Williams on Twitter @kortneyshane

About the author: Kortney Shane Williams

3 comments to “Complicated relationship between LeBron James and Cleveland fans”

You can leave a reply or Trackback this post.

  1. Chris Ross - July 17, 2014 at 7:49 pm Reply

    I’m glad I read this Kortney because I think you’re the first person I’ve heard from Cleveland who isn’t overly ecstatic with his return. For me, I think I’d have a really hard time cheering for the Cavs if I was from Cleveland. However, not being from Cleveland, I can’t say what it’s like to be living in that city and have that happen to me.

    Your reaction is one of the most reasonable I have seen. Something of a true sports fan who wants his team to win the right way. Not just win no matter what the circumstances.

    Although I’m not from Cleveland, I am from Vancouver, which is a city that doesn’t get many championships. I was 1 and 2 years old when the Blue Jays won those World Series and outside of that I have never seen any of my teams (Raptors, Grizzlies, Canucks, Jays) win a major professional championship. I don’t know what that feels like either.

    The thing is, I still know that I want to win mine the right way. LeBron coming back to Cleveland just feels so inorganic and I can’t imagine, for me, that it would feel as nearly as good as if he had stayed. It’s not on the same level, but cheering for Vince Carter if he came back to the Raps 3 or 4 years after he left may have been impossible for me.

    Again, I can’t say definitively what I would do since I only have hypothetical experience to drawn on.

    All of this is just a long way of saying I really appreciated your post and the way you feel. Whether or not you end up cheering for LeBron and the Cavs like you did before LeBron skipped town for Miami.

  2. Chris Ross - July 17, 2014 at 7:49 pm Reply

    I’m glad I read this Kortney because I think you’re the first person I’ve heard from Cleveland who isn’t overly ecstatic with his return. For me, I think I’d have a really hard time cheering for the Cavs if I was from Cleveland. However, not being from Cleveland, I can’t say what it’s like to be living in that city and have that happen to me.

    Your reaction is one of the most reasonable I have seen. Something of a true sports fan who wants his team to win the right way. Not just win no matter what the circumstances.

    Although I’m not from Cleveland, I am from Vancouver, which is a city that doesn’t get many championships. I was 1 and 2 years old when the Blue Jays won those World Series and outside of that I have never seen any of my teams (Raptors, Grizzlies, Canucks, Jays) win a major professional championship. I don’t know what that feels like either.

    The thing is, I still know that I want to win mine the right way. LeBron coming back to Cleveland just feels so inorganic and I can’t imagine, for me, that it would feel as nearly as good as if he had stayed. It’s not on the same level, but cheering for Vince Carter if he came back to the Raps 3 or 4 years after he left may have been impossible for me.

    Again, I can’t say definitively what I would do since I only have hypothetical experience to drawn on.

    All of this is just a long way of saying I really appreciated your post and the way you feel. Whether or not you end up cheering for LeBron and the Cavs like you did before LeBron skipped town for Miami.

    • Kortney Williams - July 17, 2014 at 11:23 pm Reply

      Thanks for reading. Truthfully I didn’t want him to come back. I think the Cavs were going in the right direction at a good pace. Plus half of our team was Canadian. Anytime Canada is on your side good things happen.

Leave a Reply